Knee Arthroplasty Post Surgery Information

The following can be expected after having knee arthroplasty surgery:

Immediately after surgery you will be taken to the recovery room where you will be motioned. Once stable you will then be transfered to the ward.

Usually post knee arthroplasty surgery you will be set up with a button to press to administer pain relief through a machine called a PCA machine (Patient Controlled Analgesia).

The post-op protocol will vary slightly from patient to patient, but generally you can expect your drain to be removed after 24 hours. Once this is removed you can sit out of bed and start moving your knee and walking on it within a day or two of surgery. The dressing will be reduced usually on the second day post op in order to make movement easier. You will be visited by a physiotherapist who will prescribe exercises and assist you with your rehabilitation and mobilisation.


It is expected you will remain in hospital for five to seven days post-surgery. Depending on your needs and situation you will either be discharged home or transferred to a rehabilitation hospital. Either way you will need to do physio exercises on your knee following surgery.

A large amount of the long-term results and success of knee replacement surgery depends on how much work you as the patient put in following your operation. It is important to do the physio exercises that are prescribed in order to get the best results from your knee replacement. 


Once discharged you will be expected to walk with a walker or crutches for six weeks after which you can progress to a walking stick. Also at the six week point, once you feel you have confidently regained control of your leg, you can return to driving.


Knee flexion (bend) will vary from patient to patient but it is expected that by six weeks the knee should be able to bend to 90 degrees. The goal post surgery is to obtain 110-115 degrees of movement.

More vigorous physical activities, such as sports, may take three months until you are able to perform them comfortably.


Upon return home post-surgery special precautions will be needed to be taken around the house. An occupational therapist will assess the home and assist you with this. For example, you may need rails in the bathroom or if there are a lot of stairs in your home you may need to modify sleeping arrangments.


Concerns: Please contact the office if post-surgery you are worried about your level of pain, have significant bleeding, or have fever or redness around the surgical site.

If you require assistance after hours, please contact the hospital where the surgery was performed and they will contact Professor Al Muderis on your behalf.

Norwest Private Hospital: (02) 8882 8882?

Sydney Adventist Hospital: (02) 9487 9111

Macquarie University Hospital: (02) 9812 3000